Stink. Stank. Stunk.

People, ALL people, tend to overcomplicate things at one point or another.

We worry, complain, criticize, overthink, make up stories in our heads, gossip about those made up stories in our heads and worst of all, we let ourselves become overwhelmed by it all in ways that are truly unhealthy for us.


In a town of 2500, there are a lot of opinions milling about in the soup. Now, sprinkle in a dash of tourist opinions and the soup gets too salty - if we let it.


When someone, anyone, is overcomplicating something and I am experiencing and observing it, I can't help but immediately think to myself, "stink, stank, stunk!" It's that famous line from the forever-popular Dr. Seuss movie, The Grinch.


I can't really explain why I think that, or associate it to that movie reference, but I do feel there is a strong correlation.


The Grinch, as everyone knows, was a negative-energy beast living ever so pessimistically in a wonderful, beautiful world. He had a very difficult time seeing and partaking in all the beauty right in front of him ... until one day ... he has his Eureka moment.


That's right, even the Grinch had a change of heart and began viewing life from a place of love, appreciation and gratitude.


So, I ask you. Are you in a "stink, stank, stunk" place in your life right now? Are you walking around town with resting Grinch face?

Is today the day? Is now the time for you to stop, look around, and partake in all the beauty and joy that is right in front of you? Is it time for your change of heart?


Well, for your sake, I certainly hope that it is.


This is a wonderful time of year to have a change of heart.


Take a look around. The beauty of the leaves as they change color and fall, music echoing in the hillsides, the last trail hike of the season or some final few mountain bike rides near Beaver Lake before Winter truly sets in.


Look around you. Do it. Observe where you live. Be grateful. Open your heart. Breathe.


"Everything is going to be ok."


Nature’s transformation of the outdoor world during this time of year brings changes to our personal lives, our fitness routines, our meditation practice and even sparks new traditions with family and friends.


Everyone experiences emotions differently and the first step is often a difficult one, but the first step is simply to bring a sense of openness to a negative emotion. That's it!! That is step one.


Take a moment and stop to acknowledge what is happening and ask yourself: What am I experiencing right now?


Even the Grinch did this. He stopped. Took a breath. Allowed himself to acknowledge what's happening and BAM! He was struck! View his change of heart moment here.

The goal is not to clear or push away the emotion, but rather to welcome it and use mindfulness as a tool of exploration.


Feeling emotions is a subjective experience, of course.


When I’m feeling anxious, for example, I’ll do my very best to explore what it is to feel anxious. I tend to feel a tightening in my chest first and then I feel jittery with rapid-fire thoughts about something. I do what I can to de-escalate the tightening and the jitters but I won’t try to get rid of anything — not pain or bad thoughts — instead, I try to receive it, to allow it, to open to it and to bring kindness, love and gratitude into my heart.

Fitness & mindfulness routines are both important.

It's EXACTLY what the Grinch does in the movie and if you do it right, over and over again, progress begins to gain momentum and life begins to change for the better.


Think about this for a moment - Working out, eating right and staying fit is important. Many people, myself included, have a fitness/nutrition routine.


But it's just as important to have a mindfulness routine and this is what helps a person overcome the negative, pessimistic energy that creeps into life from time to time.


The other day, in this beautiful hamlet that is Eureka Springs, a local said, "I just can't stand it here.


(paraphrased) I'm single and I tend to not deal well with other people. Plus, it's too political here right now and everyone has an opinion. Most of those opinions are hard to swallow."


I was stunned . . .

"What?"

My (paraphrased) reply was - "Wow, don't put all that on Eureka Springs. If you repeat all that you just said, you could be talking about your life in Denver, or Los Angeles, or New York, or Toronto.


What you just said applies to life in any corner of the world. Eureka is good. It's a good place if you just stop and let the good sink in while you also do your part to spread more good around."


The moral of this - "one must see the beauty in what one has."


Choosing gratitude and appreciation over criticism and negativity leads to attracting more of the things you can appreciate and be grateful for. This is the beginning of developing an abundance mindset. Appreciate, love and be grateful for all the joy that does exude from your life in and around Eureka Springs, and you'll be surprised how much more joy comes back to you in other ways to enrich your life even more.


So, whatever is happening in your corner of the world, leave all the grinching to The Grinch and get into your heart so that you can experience your life from the inside out -- living from a place of love brings you more love.❤️

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